February 2010 Volume 8, Number 2
Two of the fundamental purposes of MSBA are to support local school board members as leaders in their communities and to advocate for appropriate educational policies at the state and national levels. Because of those purposes we have Leadership Development chairs and Governmental Relations chairs in each of our regions who serve on the MSBA Board of Directors. We structure our standing committees to be consistent with these purposes. And we have established facilities designed to enhance those functions. Many of you are familiar with the MSBA Headquarters Building in Columbia. Within that facility is our Leadership Development Center. While we conduct many leadership development events throughout the state, the LDC and other space in our headquarters building are the locations of many of these activities. Our proximity to the flagship campus of the University of Missouri allows us to take advantage of the research resources available at MU. We also have facilities in Jefferson City that have proven to be a tremendous asset in achieving a presence in the capital and in bolstering our lobbying efforts. These offices, located in the Governor Office Building, are only a couple of blocks from the Capitol Building itself, giving us easy access to legislators and other policy-makers in Jefferson City. Lobbyists of the other education associations often meet in our offices to discuss the progress of legislation. Those offices serve as the regular meeting location for the Education Roundtable. We use the video production capability at those offices to produce programming with government leaders that otherwise would not be possible. The February Board Report interview with Governor Nixon is just one example. We must concentrate both on leadership development and advocacy to fulfill our mission of Helping Public Schools Succeed. Both our Columbia headquarters and Jefferson City offices help us achieve those goals and provide important resources for you and your work in your community. Call MSBA to learn how these same resources can directly support your leadership team in advancing educational opportunity for the kids in your community. Carter D. Ward, Ph.D. MSBA Executive Director
Missouri School Boards’ Association
Governor Nixon Explains Funding Proposal During Interview with MSBA Governor Jay Nixon says he put all state supported programs on the table for budget cuts in his budget proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1, except K-12 education. He made the comment during an exclusive interview with MSBA for the February Board Report video program. Nixon tells MSBA he had to cut about $800 million from next year’s budget due to declining state revenue and that includes proposed cuts to corrections, mental health, social services and higher education. “When we got to the end of the process, we had $18 million left,” said Nixon. He added that was the amount he was able to add to the foundation formula for next year. The $18 million is about $86 million short of what is required to fully fund the phase-in of the new formula for next year and some legislative leaders are calling for full funding even if that means additional cuts to other state services. “We’d like to give as much money to K-12 education as we possibly can,” Nixon said in the interview. But he added it’s important to remember K-12 was the only area of his proposed state budget to receive an increase. Nixon also commented on Missouri’s Race to the Top application during the interview. He said, “Race to the Top has a chance to be one of the moments that are transformative for education in this country.” He also expressed skepticism about legislative proposals to allow open enrollment in Missouri. He said open enrollment is an example of what some people believe to be quick fixes for education. “There are folks who want these sound bite fixes to solve the real challenges facing schools,” he said. He concluded the interview by saying, “There are attacks on public education right now. There’s special interest funding. It’s important that we stay together to improve public education and I’m confident we’re going to do just that.” You can watch the complete interview with Governor Nixon by visiting the MSBA Web site at www.msbanet.org and clicking on the “Board Report” box on the front page.
In this issue... l l l l l l
State Submits Proposal for “Race to the Top” Some Sex Offenders May Live Near Schools School District Boundaries Not Required to be Contiguous Nominations Due for Paul Morris Community Service Award MSBA Spring Regional Meeting Schedule COBRA Subsidy Extended in New Law
State Submits Proposal for“Race to the Top” Missouri officials have submitted a proposal that could bring almost $750 million to the state’s public schools over the next four years. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education completed and submitted its application for “Race to the Top” funding to the U.S. Department of Education on January 19. Race to the Top is a $4.3 billion competitive grant program designed to reward – and challenge – states that develop significant schoolimprovement initiatives. Missouri’s plan lays out a total budget of $743 million, most of which would go directly to public schools across the state. Missouri’s proposal calls for action on several fronts: curriculum and testing; expanding the role of technology in schools; expanding educational services and options before kindergarten; improving the way teachers are evaluated, rewarded and supported; focusing resources on low-performing schools; and revamping the structure of the state education agency, among others. A total of 513 of Missouri’s public school district and charter schools – representing more than 99 percent of the state’s public school students – have submitted formal “memorandums of understanding,” indicating that they intend to participate in future projects and activities. Missouri’s application states that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education intends to use the Race to the Top application as a framework for redesigning the Department itself and for driving education reform in Missouri even if the state does not receive the federal money. In a letter to Commissioner Nicastro, MSBA urged that at least some Race to the Top funding be used to “…extend researchsupported, field-proven, governance-focused training and development of school boards beyond the minimum requirements of statute to help both performance-challenged and historically successful school districts ensure that every student is learning, in every subject, every year.”
Some Sex Offenders May Live Near Schools The Missouri Supreme Court has struck down two sex offender laws as unconstitutionally retrospective. In 2004 the Missouri legislature enacted a statute that prohibited sex offenders from residing within 1000 feet of schools or child care facilities. In 2008 a law was enacted requiring sex offenders to avoid contact with children on Halloween and remain in their homes on October 31, as well as other restrictions. The Court held that both laws were unconstitutional if applied to sex offenders who were convicted prior to the effective dates of the new laws. For more information on F.R. v. St. Charles County Sheriff’s Dept, contact the School Laws Department at 800-221-MSBA (6722).
Nominations Due for Paul Morris Community Service Award FutureBuilders, the non-profit education foundation of the Missouri School Boards’ Association, invites you to nominate a current or past public school board member from Missouri for the Paul Morris Community Service Award. This program is designed to recognize individuals who provide leadership to their communities through school board service, as well as other community service activities. This is the second year for the award which was established in memory of Paul Morris, a Mt. Vernon board member, who was serving as President of MSBA when he passed away February 2, 2009. Paul devoted countless hours strengthening his community and improving its schools through his volunteer work. Up to seventeen nominees (limited to one nominee from each of MSBA’s seventeen regions) will be selected as award finalists. Finalists will be chosen based on their demonstrated commitment to public education, as well as their community service activities. Nominations will be taken on-line until March 1, 2010. Finalists and the award recipient will be recognized at the MSBA Awards Banquet on Friday, June 11, 2010 in Columbia as part of the MSBA Leadership Summit. The recipient of the Paul Morris Community Service Award will receive a $1,000 individual award and an additional $1,000 award to be used by his/her school district for scholarships. For inquiries about this award, please contact MSBA FutureBuilders at 800-221-MSBA (6722) or e-mail Randol@msbanet.org.
School District Boundaries Not Required to be Contiguous Due to a boundary change election, part of the Central School District is completely surrounded by the Farmington School District. A developer owning some of the property in this “island” filed an action against the two districts and the assessor, asking the court to determine that the property actually should be assessed as part of the Farmington School District. The trial court concluded that the property belonged to the Central School District, but the appellate court ruled otherwise, finding that the school district boundaries must be contiguous and “islands” of property in other districts are not allowed. The Missouri Supreme Court held that a school district’s boundaries are not required by law to be contiguous. Even though reorganization statutes require contiguous territory, the boundary change statute does not. For more information on MC Development Co. v. Central R-3 School District, contact the School Laws Department at 800-221MSBA (6722).
Annually, in each of MSBA’s seventeen regions, one position on the MSBA Board of Directors is open and nominations taken. Nomination forms are due, postmarked or faxed, to MSBA office by March 1, 2010. Also, several regions will have Regional Leadership Positions available for the upcoming year. For questions concerning the Board of Director or Regional Leadership positions, contact Barbara Stephens by e-mail at: stephens@ msbanet.org or call 800-221-MSBA (6722), ext. 334.
District Spotlight Hannibal 60 School District • Region 3
St. Louis City
St Louis Gasconade
“The Hannibal School District believes that a strong early childhood program provides the foundation 13 for student success K-12. The more support we give to prevention efforts the less we have to remediate 10 15 9 11 14 at a later time,” Dr. Jill Janes, Superintendent. The Hannibal Public School District offers comprehensive Early Childhood education services for children (prenatally to kindergarten) and their parents. In a child’ first five years he learns the basic skills to be used in all later learning both at home and school. The goal of Hannibal’s early childhood programs are to develop a home/school partnership emphasizing “family” as the most effective tool to help a child achieve the best possible start in life. The belief that parents are their child’s first and most influential teachers has always been a core value of Hannibal’s Parents As Teachers Program. The district has adopted a universal access PAT model for all families from before birth to kindergarten entry. Dr. Janes, Superintendent, noted, “A strong Parents As Teachers program encourages parents to be a vital part of their child’s educational life and this carries on into our PK-12 programs. Parent involvement is instrumental if we are going to ensure student success and academic achievement.” Collaborations with local physicians and the area hospital, county health department, Division of Social Services, Early Head Start, Head Start, high school counselors and other educators, and numerous community service agencies have assisted the school in continually increasing its Parents As Teachers participation rate. Currently 71% of the eligible families (P-3) are enrolled, compared to 43% statewide. To increase the high school graduation rate for young parents, the district developed the “New Beginnings” program. This program is a high school/early childhood program offering high school education, parenting and life skills, and private PAT home visits. The parenting/ life skills instructor is a certified teacher and PAT educator. Through collaboration with Early Head Start, children of the enrolled teens are receiving free child care. The district’s leadership are advocates for early childhood education and places an emphasis on proactive early services. Because of this belief, the district has established an early childhood screening and testing team. These teams allow early identification and a smooth transition for children requiring ECSE services. “Our screening and testing team work closely together. It’s not unusual for a parent to be able to talk informally with a testing team member the day of their child’s screening and ask questions they may have if the screening showed a concern,” stated Sharon Wisdom, Testing Coordinator. A variety of preschool classroom settings have been established for children ages three through kindergarten age. Currently, ten preschool classrooms consisting of full-day and part-day sessions exist. A combination of funding sources, Title I, Missouri Preschool Project, Early Childhood Special Education, and local district dollars support the classrooms. With a particular interest in meeting the needs of lower income working parents, two MPP classrooms were established with extended care hours. One classroom, in collaboration with the local Head Start, utilizes a co-teacher team approach, which saves costs for both programs. Communication is a key element and strength of this partnership, so monthly administrative/staff meetings are held to celebrate successes and eliminate concerns. Currently, 174 children are enrolled in the district’s preschool programs. Project Construct is the curriculum model for the classrooms, thus encouraging “hands-on, minds-on” learning. Children who are enrolled as a 3-year old have the opportunity to remain in that classroom until they enter kindergarten, thus encouraging continuity of care. The district has established an additional home/school partnership by requiring all of its preschool teachers to be certified PAT parent educators. Thus, the classroom teacher has a stronger bond with the family by providing parents with education information in the home setting and connecting it with classroom observations. This partnership allows the family to share additional information with the teacher about their child and the parent to feel that they are a co-partner in the educational process. Pre and post 2009 DIAL-3 screenings of children enrolled in the preschool classrooms/PAT home visiting model show an increase of 22 points in the total score from enrollment to exit. This collaboration between PAT, preschool educators, and parents is paying dividends to the Hannibal community. Because of the success and expansion of the Early Childhood programs, the district will be proposing a no-tax increase Early Childhood Center construction project in April 2010. This will allow the district to increase preschool services and provide additional opportunities for infants and toddlers. Communication, Collaboration, and Celebration are the three components of success in the Hannibal Public Schools Early Childhood programs. For additional information contact Diane Addison, Early Childhood Director, 573-221-3054, or e-mail daddison@hannibal.K12.mo.us. St Clair
Ste Genevieve St Perry Francois Madison
MSBA Labor Relations Camp
July 12–14, 2010 • Tan-Tar-A Resort • Osage Beach
MSBA’s Spring Regional Meeting to Have Four Focus Topics Board members and superintendent have many concerns as school funding continues to drop. The 2010 MSBA Spring Regional Meeting will address four areas of great concern: 1) Fiscal/Budgeting Issues 2) Pay for Performance 3) Evaluation – Teacher, Staff and Superintendent 4) New Directions at DESE (Race to the Top). Make plans to join us. Region Date Location 1 Monday, May 3 St. Joseph* 2 Wednesday, May 5 Chillicothe R-II 3 Tuesday, April 20 Hannibal 60 4 Wednesday, April 28 Raytown C-2 5 Thursday, April 15 Marshall 6 Wednesday, May 5 Centralia R-VI 7 See Below 8 Wednesday, April 21 Eldon R-I 9 Tuesday, April 27 Joplin R-VII 10 Tuesday, April 27 Republic R-III 11 Tuesday, May 4 Van Buren 12 Tuesday, April 20 Steelville R-III 13 Monday, April 26 Nell Holcomb R-IV 14 Monday, April 19 Dexter R-X 15 Thursday, April 22 West Plains R-VII 16 Tuesday, May 4 Clinton 17 Wednesday, April 21 Wright City R-II • Denotes date and location change from previously distributed information. Meetings start at 5:30 p.m. with a New Board Member Orientation and a Legislative Update. For more information and/or to register on-line visit our MSBA’s website at www.msbanet.org or call 800-221-MSBA (6722). REGION 7 – The Spring Regional meeting for Region 7 is a Joint Meeting with CSD to be held Thursday, April 22 in Lindbergh in the High School Cafeteria. Program: To Be Announced.
COBRA Subsidy Extended in New Law On December 21, 2009, President Obama signed into law an extension of the 65% subsidy of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), initially created in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (the Federal stimulus bill). Now any employee who is involuntarily terminated by February 28, 2010 (as opposed to December 31) is eligible for the subsidy, as well as the spouse and dependents of the former employee. Even if the employee will not utilize COBRA until a later date because the employer has, for instance, already paid for health insurance for March, as long as the employee is involuntarily terminated by February 28 he/she is eligible for the subsidy. Further, the subsidy period has been expanded from 9 months to 15 months. For more information on the new law, see: http://www.dol.gov/ ebsa/cobra.html.
Weathering the Financial Storm Missouri is experiencing unprecedented economic difficulties with the potential to negatively impact the educational opportunities for students in public school districts. Wise leadership and thoughtful decision-making processes will be needed to navigate through these challenging times with the least amount of harm. The Missouri Association of School Business Officials (MoASBO), the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA), and the Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) are combining resources and expertise to produce an information web cast to assist school districts. The web cast will feature: • An economic overview by Linda Luebbering, state budget director, and Dr. Chris Straub, a well-known school finance consultant; • A presentation of critical suggestions and recommendations from the Columbia and North Kansas City School Districts, and • A conclusion with legal information from Kelli Hopkins, an MSBA attorney. The intended audiences are school board members, superintendents and school business officials. The web cast is offered as a free service to all Missouri school district and will be available for viewing after March 17, 2010. After the initial release, it will be archived for viewing for the period of time for which the information remains pertinent for district leadership. There will be 1 CBM credit awarded to each board member who views the web cast. View, at no cost, through MSBA’s Education Solutions Global Network at www.esgn.tv. Watch at your own convenience on your own computer.
Upcoming Web Casts & Audio Conferences MSBA continues to provide excellent opportunities to expand your knowledge and understanding in crucial areas. Save time and expense by accessing web casts and audio conferences from your own office. The upcoming schedule for web casts and audio conferences: Web casts: March 11 – Understanding Financial Terminology April 22 – Salary Compliance May 13 - Ledger Basics Audio Conferences: March 4 - Hiring, Firing, Non-Renewal and Reduction in Force March 24 - Handbooks: What’s In, What’s Out? March 31 – Networking for Negotiators April 15 – Avoiding Sunshine Law Violations For more information call 800-221-MSBA (6722) and ask for Jeanie Rhoades, ext. 416 for web cast assistance and Jamie Fessler, ext. 303 for audio conference assistance.
MSBA now accepting Request for Proposals (RFP) for the concurrent sessions at the 2010 Annual Conference. Deadline: March 12, 2010 • Visit MSBA web site at www.msbanet.org for on-line submission or Call 800-221-MSBA (6722) for further assistance board bulletin is published monthly by the missouri school boards’ association. address all correspondence to: Editor, 2100 I-70 Drive SW, Columbia, MO 65203, 800-221-MSBA (6722), Fax 573 445-9981 or email email@example.com Vol. VIII, NO. 2. Copyright 2010 MSBA. All Rights Reserved.